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Things You Should Know About Canine Diabetes

Jul 4, 2008
Canine Diabetes, often referred to as "sugar diabetes" is generally speaking, quite a common ailment in dogs, it is not difficult to identify as a simple urine test will reveal the cause of the problem. It is the most common canine endocrine problem and is sometimes believed to be more prevalent in overweight dogs, but it doesn't stop there, heredity and certain medication may also be the cause. It really is high sugar levels that the dog is not able to naturally break down. It can affect a dog of any sex or age and fortunately, as in humans, we can treat the condition and many dogs lead a completely normal life with treatment.

Symptoms of Canine Diabetes Mellitus include but are not exclusive to:
- A general appearance of being "off" perhaps accompanied with weight loss, appetite generally remains unchanged.
- The dog may be drinking more than normal and/or urinating more than usual
- Poor hair and skin condition
- Vomiting

Treatment involves:
- Visit to the vet and possible stay in the animal hospital to stabilize the condition
- Special Diet
- Blood/urine tests
- Insulin injections
- Regular check ups

There are two types of canine diabetes:
- Type 1- this is caused by the pancreas being unable to manufacture the hormone insulin
- Type 2- is caused by the dogs inability to respond to the manufacture if insulin in the body
- How To Identify Canine Diabetes

It is not a difficult process to identify Canine Diabetes in dogs and in many instances the dog owner, just knows that something is wrong! Being a dog owner myself it is pretty easy to know when your dog is feeling "off". Any changes in eating or drinking patters immediately alert me. The first thing to do is take the dog to a vet! Common symptoms include drinking more than usual, vomiting, frequent urination, eating more but losing weight, and unexplained loss of condition of the skin and fur.

What Happens When My Dog Has Canine Diabetes?

We have found that canine diabetes is one of the more complicated kinds of endocrine problems in dogs, however it is certainly not a "death sentence". The veterinarian will check your dog, do a couple of tests, including blood and urine. Once he knows that the problem is canine diabetes he going to ask you if you want to start treatment. The responsibility is with you to decide on treatment. It really is a serious commitment on the part of the owner, but treatment can have a dramatic effect in improving the dog's quality of life.

What does Treatment Entail?

If your dog is found to have really high glucose levels, and you decide to opt for treatment, he may be kept in hospital for a couple of days to stabilize and establish a treatment protocol. This also applies if he is dehydrated. He will be put on a special diet such as Hills W/D and given insulin injections. Oral medication is available for humans and cats, but not dogs as this point in time. As soon as the dog has been stabilized they will be sent home with special instructions for feeding, testing and medication.
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